The new material could replace silicon


30/09/2012

Norwegian scientists were the first in the world to develop a method of creating graphene semiconductors. This discovery could revolutionize the industry.

This method is to build a semiconductor nanowires on graphene. To start this process, the researchers "bombard" the graphene surface atoms of gallium and arsenic molecules, creating a network of small nanowires.

The result is a hybrid material of a thickness of one micrometer, which has semiconductor properties. For comparison, the silicon semiconductors in use today is several hundred times thicker.

Graphene is the thinnest known material, and at the same time one of the most durable. It consists of a single layer of carbon atoms, which is transparent and flexible. This material is very good conductor of electricity and heat. And most importantly - a very cheap to manufacture.

"Given that it is now possible to create semiconductors of graphene instead of silicon, we can make semiconductor components at the same time more affordable and more effective than the modern equivalents" - explained Helge Wiman from the Norwegian University of Technology. This discovery was made by Dr. Wiman, together with Professor Bjorn-Ove Fimlandom.

"The material for flexible and transparent framework opens up a sea of opportunities for practical application, which is yet to be discovered," - said Dr. Wiman. "This could revolutionize the production of solar panels and components LED. Windows in our homes can be even solar panels or TV screens. Screens of mobile phones can be wrapped around your arm like a watch. Overall, the potential is huge."

Researchers are moving to the stage of prototyping aimed at specific areas of application. They began negotiations with such giants as Samsung Electronics and IBM. "There is huge interest in the production of semiconductors, graphene, and problems with lack of partners should arise," - added Dr. Wiman.

The researchers hope that the new semiconductors of hybrid materials will be on the market within five years.

Original: Forskningsradet.no


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